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Final FLOG Post

Today is the end of what has been a really cool externship! I’ve had a really nice time the last three weeks––Stuart, Riley, and Erin did a great job of helping us get a sense of what it’s like working in an ecology research lab and introducing us to what’s going on in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Science building. Some of the highlights for me were attending Echinacea Project lab meetings, getting a sense of what the building’s and lab’s culture is like through the office holiday party and an after-work get-together at Stuart and Gretel’s house, and doing a small independent research project. My project was on the impacts of inbreeding on survival and reproduction in Echinacea, and it was a great chance to get some practice using R, developing a project, and presenting it, and I learned a lot both about the study system and about doing research in general! 

Working on the Echinacea Project also helped me further pinpoint what’s important to me in a career––doing something that makes a tangible positive impact on the environment and on the planet––and helped me better understand how a career in research might allow me to accomplish that. I’m really thankful to all the people I met here for making it a good experience, especially Erin, Riley, and Stuart, and I would be thrilled to work with them again in the future! Every time I do work on prairies I like them even more.

Now it’s time for everyone to take off for the holidays. I’m looking forward to my family coming to pick me up tomorrow on the way to celebrate Christmas with relatives in Indianapolis. Working for the Echinacea Project was a great way to spend my winter break and it’s given me a lot to think about going forward! 

Thanks and take care,

Emma

Plenty of R practice!
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